One of the worst beliefs you might have when you decide that it is time to get in shape is to stop eating all kind of fats. Fats are important for your diet – you just need to know which ones are healthy and which ones might shorten your lifetime.
Most athletes have a macro of at least 20 percent of fats in their diet. For example their daily calorie intake contains of 50% carbohydrates, 30% proteins and 20% fats. Most of the diets are in that order with a difference up to 10% in one of the figures. The majority of people that don’t have health issues due overweight are with 10 to 20 percent of fats in their body with fatty reserves that reach up to 100 000 kcal. Those reserves are the main source behind the magical process of intermittent fasting.
The fats are the main energy source of our body. They have an important regulative and constructive function. Furthermore, they are rich in vitamins A, D, E and K. The synthesis of steroid hormones in our body happens due fats. In addition, they are responsible for keeping the normal temperature in our body, preventing it from cooling. The fats in our connective tissues protects our internal organs from injuries and concussions. They play an important role in numerous physiological processes. As I mentioned, this is the main source of energy for the human body. One gram of fats contains of 38 kj of energy and 9 kcal which is twice higher than the number of calories in carbohydrate and protein.
There are two groups of fats – saturated and unsaturated. Most foods have both kinds fats but in most cases there is a big difference in the percentage between them. As a healthy lifestyle preacher I would say that it is mandatory to take enough of both.
Those kind of fats are seen in the animal source foods like meat, cheese, milk. Other sources are coconut oil, palm oil, cocoa butter. Those are the fats that rise the cholesterol in your body and should not be contained in big amounts. A healthy diet contains of around 10% of those kind of fats. You can google the kind of foods you will eat through the day and calculate how much to eat. For example 100 grams of pan-fried bacon has 70% of the daily value of a person who eats 2000 kcal per day.
Creating a diet with mostly unsaturated fats will help improve your cholesterol levels. It is mostly in oils from plants – liquid at room temperature. There are two types of unsaturated fats– monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
The main sources of monounsaturated fat is avocado, nuts (almonds, cashews, macadamia etc.), and olive oil. They help you lower the bad LDL cholesterol and keep the good HDL cholesterol levels high.
Polyunsaturated fats are contained in safflower, sunflower, sesame, soybean and corn oils. Other sources of this kind is found in seafood. Polyunsaturated fats also lower the LDL cholesterol and are divided on two types – omega-3 and omega 6 fatty accids.
Food that contain omega 3 fatty acids are found in seafood. For example there is high percentage in oysters, mackerel, salmon, anchovies and tuna. It is also found in soybean, walnuts and flax-seed. The ones that contain omega 6 fatty acids are mostly vegetable oils – safflower oils.
This is the fat that should not be in your daily menu. It is created by the process of hydrogenation that increases the life span of the fat and makes it harder at room temperatures. You can find trans fats in processed foods, chips, crackers, cookies, margarine, biscuits, microwave popcorn, cream-filled candies, donuts, fried fast foods and frozen pizza.
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